A team of 10 industry vets with experience on World of Warcraft, EVE Online, City of Heroes, Everquest, Ultima Online
and more have announced the formation of Colony Studios, a new MMO studio hoping to give new life to what they say is a "stagnant increasingly generic genre."
Colony CEO Michael Wallis (senior producer, EVE Online
) said in a statement that he "believes his team has more per capita experience working on hit MMO titles than any team of its size ever assembled," with staff credits ranging across World of Warcraft, EVE Online, City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot, Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest
, and Ultima Online
Little is yet known or announced about the studio's first MMO project, other than the studio's own pronouncement that it will be based on its own IP and "focuses on a dynamic, living world which won't be developed as a 'safe' MMO, meaning it won't be a World of Warcraft
clone with a new IP skin."
The studio says its goal is to "take chances outside the normal MMO design" and "breathe new life into what is often described as a somewhat stagnant increasingly generic genre."
What is currently known about the project is that it has licensed
Simutronic's HeroEngine, an MMO engine that allows simultaneous live, online, real time editing of MMO worlds and its contents, termed by the company as "massively collaborative game building."
Said Wallis in a statement, "Our MMO, which will offer far more than a linear storyline, will provide a ton of history and backstory, but the players will consistently influence the content. The bottom line is we've launched MMOs before, and our experience lets us anticipate bumps in the road and steer clear of them. The fact that we've been through it before means things are much less likely to fall through the cracks."
The team's MMO project is expected to launch in late 2009.